Haverhill Sprint Triathlon – Sunday 4th October by Josh

Got picked up by Steve and Trevor at a surprisingly civilised time of 7:15ish.

Got to Haverhill in plenty of time so registered and had a nice relaxed transition set up on the AstroTurf outside the pool.

Start times are done as slowest swimmers first so after a slightly delayed briefing due to microphone issues I had a 1.5hr wait before I started. Whilst waiting I slowly got to wave goodbye to my fellow MTC members and wished them good luck.

Pool swim was organised a bit like a packed night club, one out one in, except of course only water being drunk.

I happened to be the second from last to go having put down a swim time of 5:40 which brought back memories of Bedford where I ended up running all by myself which was uninspiring to say the least.

The swim went well, had to overtake one guy twice during my swim but wasn’t really held up. The run from the pool to the T1 timing mat at the astro turf was a fair distance so my time was recorded at 6:44 however the time on my garmin clocked me at 5:45ish.

The trouble with Astro Turfs is the sand. I had considered wearing arm warmers for the bike but by the time I started it was hot so I didn’t bother. I ran out of transition with shoes on pedals barefoot, out of the astro, across the grass, onto the spikey gravel to the mount line. I bailed on the flying mount having not practised for months and away.

Bike course was almost straight into a climb which was a killer. Then a down and back up. After that there weren’t too many hills but a rolling course and on the few places that were flatter you always seemed to come across a right or left turn. Very little time to find a rhythm and the braking and accelerating made it hard compared to courses I’ve done before. My time for the 22km was 44mins and happily overtook about 10 riders.

Oh I forgot to add, I totally messed up the multi sport function on my garmin at the start of the bike which was annoying when trying to work out distances and times as it was all wrong.

T2 easy. Apart from trying to exit the wrong way thanks to a lack of clarity and marshalling. I should say the marshals that were there were great, just seemed to be lacking a few extra hands.

The run was a straight line out to a 180 turn around then back out the opposite way to another turn around before the final straight back to the sports centre to finish. Even after the first little 100 meters and a small ramp I could feel how the bike had drained my legs and the first 2km were just pain until I got my breathing under control a little. Unlike the Bedford the run route was set up so I was always passing people and I wasn’t all alone which was much more encouraging. Halfway to the first turnaround I saw Trevor, Steve and Simon heading the other way. The hunt began and chasing them gave me something else to think about.

I managed to catch Simon with about 500m to go and from there pushed for the finish. Run time 25mins. Disappointing but knackered.

Overall 15th, third in age: 1hr 18mins. Proudly and for the first time ever the fastest swimmer in the event. I’ll end it there…

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